Adventures in Co-translation


Sarah Irving recently found herself co-translating a short story. She writes about the process:

Fi yom min ayyam, as the story goes, my friend Yousef and I found ourselves discussing the idea of translating a Jordanian short story called Feero. Yousef Hamdan is a Jordanian PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, working on 20th century Arabic literary criticism. He also writes reviews for the Jordanian press. I’m also a postgrad student, British, and acting out a midlife crisis by trying to turn my unspeakably embarrassing Arabic into something slightly more presentable; before I went back to school I was an author and journalist.

We both had a passion for Arabic literature, we reasoned. Neither of us was fluent enough in the other’s language to be translating solo, and both of us felt we would benefit from a two-sided translation process. I got to be involved in…

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